The weather is still warm, but getting cooler in the evenings and mornings. A nuisance bear continues to be active in a certain region, and there’s more to know for hiking in the Adirondacks this weekend.
Current Weather Forecast & Temperature Variances
- Crown Point: Fri 79° and mostly sunny, Sat 71° and partly cloudy, Sun 79° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 72° and partly cloudy, Sat 64° and mostly cloudy, Sun 73° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 80° and mostly sunny, Sat 73° and partly cloudy, Sun 79° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 69° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 62° and showers, Sun 72° and mostly sunny
- Malone: Fri 72° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 65° and showers, Sun 76° and mostly sunny
- North Creek: Fri 73° and mostly sunny, Sat 67° and partly cloudy, Sun 75° and mostly sunny
- Saranac Lake: Fri 71° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 62° and showers, Sun 73° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 65° and partly cloudy, Sun 73° and mostly sunny
- Ticonderoga: Fri 78° and mostly sunny, Sat 71° and partly cloudy, Sun 79° and partly cloudy
Although we’re still in summer and the forecast looks warm be aware that the Adirondack region is starting to see some temperature variances. The mornings and nights can bring temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
Start your morning hike in warm layers and pack extra warm layers to prevent hypothermia, should an unexpected hike in the dark or overnight in the woods happen. Campers should be aware of these temperature drops and pack warm clothes and sleeping bags rated for colder weather.
While it’s always true to not rely on your cellphone, this is especially pertinent with the temperature variances. When the temperatures drop in the evening and overnight cellphone batteries can die more quickly.
Always bring a headlamp and extra batteries. Leave your itinerary with friends or family. If you surpass your expected return time they can call 911 or the DEC dispatch for assistance to find you. And always sign in and out of the trailhead registers so the DEC forest rangers can locate your intended trip plan.
If you get lost or injured, keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service call 911 or the DEC at 518.891.0235.
Bear Advisories & Bear-Resistant Canisters
While preparing for your camping or hiking trip check area notices for active bear advisories. If there are active bears where you’re planning to go, either choose an alternative trip or thoroughly educate yourself on how to reduce your chance of a bear encounter with proper storage, disposal of food waste, and what to do if you happen to encounter a bear.
There is a nuisance bear active in the Eastern High Peaks. This bear has been approaching hikers and campers in an attempt to obtain food.
The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks through November 30th; they’re highly encouraged elsewhere. All food, toiletries, and garbage should be stored in these canisters. You may also want bear spray.
Please report nuisance bear incidents to the DEC.
Be Aware of Parking Restrictions
Parking is prohibited on the shoulders of State Route 73 between Chapel Pond and Rooster Comb Trailhead. Violators will be ticketed and the fines are hefty. Park in designated pull offs and trailhead parking areas only.
Hikers planning to use the AMR parking lots and hike any of the nearby trails are recommended to identify alternative hikes before arriving as the lots fill quickly.
What to Know About Group Size Regulations
Group size regulations allow for groups of no more than 15 people for a day hike and no more than eight people for an overnight trip. This is to help reduce the amount of impact to the trail system or camping area.
When hiking in a group hike single file so your boots fall in line with the hikers ahead of you. When camping in group keep your tents close together and your camp site contained to a small radius. In both group situations, always be respectful of other hikers and campers by keeping your noise level to a minimum, respecting other hikers’ abilities and speed, keeping a clean campsite, and always carrying out what you carried in.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
This week the DEC is reminding us to properly dispose of our pet’s waste on the trail. You can carry a doggy bag, use a biodegradable doggy bag, or you can bring a small shovel with you and burry it.
Seasonal Access Roads
All but two seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicle traffic. Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which can be rough. Roads may be narrow – use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles. Four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on these roads.
Bug season is here. Expect to encounter deer flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums (biting gnats), and ticks.
Wear light colored long sleeves and long pants. Tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist, and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks. Pack a head net to wear when insects are thick. Use an insect repellent with DEET and follow the label directions.
The fire danger is currently low.
What to Expect With the Trail Conditions
Due to recent heavy rains, expect to encounter wet and muddy conditions on trails. Wear footwear suitable for hiking through wet and muddy areas. Protect trails and trailside vegetation – stay in the center of the trail and walk through mud and water, not around it. Be aware that water levels will increase during and immediately after significant rain events – low water crossings may be difficult to cross.
For the Bikers
Again, due to recent heavy rains, trails or sections of trails may be muddy. Don’t ride on muddy trails. They’re easily rutted and damaged through use. If you’re leaving tracks, turn back.
Remember that electric powered bikes (e-bikes) are prohibited on all bike trails on the Forest Preserve.
Water Levels – For Boaters, Paddlers & Anglers
Water levels in many rivers and streams are below average to low. Shallow sections of rivers and streams may be “bony” or otherwise too shallow to float through.
Water temperatures are warm, though high elevation brooks are cool.
Personal flotation devices are strongly recommended to be worn by all boaters, paddlers, and anglers.
Docks have been installed at all boat launches.
Trout and salmon can experience physical stress whenever water temperatures climb above 70 degrees F. In streams, heat-stressed fish will seek deep pockets of cold water, small feeder streams, or water released from deep reservoirs. These refuges allow trout to avoid or recover from potentially fatal levels of heat stress.
Anglers can help trout and salmon by taking the following precautions during warm-weather fishing trips:
- Avoid catch-and-release fishing for heat stressed trout on hot days
- Don’t disturb trout where they have gathered in unusually high numbers
- Fish early in the day
- Always have an alternative fishing plan in case water temperatures are too high at the intended destination
Rock Climbing Routes
All rock climbing routes are open! The DEC appreciates the climbing community’s cooperation during the closure period to allow peregrine falcons to nest.
Please Report Moose Sightings
The DEC is asking us to report moose sightings and observations. The DEC and its research partners use these public sightings as indices of moose distribution and abundance in New York.
This is part of a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, health of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
Beginning mid-August, the Department of Transportation will be replacing the Spider Creek Culvert on State Route 30 between Follensby Clear Pond and Fish Creek Ponds.
During the construction, watercraft will not be able to pass through the culvert. A temporary canoe carry to bypass the culvert may be established, but people paddling in this should consider using existing canoe routes that avoid this culvert entirely.
If you use the temporary canoe carry, be cautious, pay attention to signage, and obey crosswalk signals. Parking at the water access site near the construction site will be open, but may be congested.
The northern entrance to this parking area will be blocked. The culvert will be closed through November.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
A 250-foot section of the Murphy-Middle-Bennett Trail has been rehabilitated. DEC staff, backcountry stewards, and volunteers from the Velo Bicycle Club and the community spent four days rehabilitating the section of trail using sustainable practices to create a durable and hardened trail surface for multi-use recreation. The DEC used the existing corduroy surface as the foundation for the crushed stone turnpike built on top of it.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Work on Gulf Brook Road continues. This road is closed to motor vehicles Monday through Thursday. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders may use the road but must use caution in active work areas and follow the instructions of staff. The road is open to the Fly Pond Gate Friday through Sunday.
High Peaks Wilderness
There has been increased bear activity at Marcy Dam, Lake Colden, and the Feldspar and Uphill Lean-tos. See above “Bear Advisories” section for tips on avoiding negative encounters with bears.
The Garden Trailhead Parking Lot is still closed. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the replacement of Johns Brook Road Bridge will not be completed until early September. Hikers will only be able to access the Garden Trailhead using the shuttle from Marcy Field until then. The Town of Keene website provides the shuttle schedule and additional information.
The Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail, which opened last fall, will be re-routed around the construction underway to make significant improvements to the Olympic Sports Complex facilities. Hikers can park at the Baithlon Facility parking area in the Complex and use a marked 1-mile detour bypassing the construction zone using roads, ski trails, and a temporary trail to reach the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail.
It’s a 3.8-mile roundtrip hike from the parking area to the summit and back. Expect to encounter trail workers along the trail to the summit of the mountain as they complete the final touches on the sustainability designed and recently opened trail. Hikers can also reach the summit using the traditional 2.4-mile (4.4-mile roundtrip) Mt. Van Hoevenberg West Trail which begins at the trailhead on Meadows Lane.
The roadway on Bradley Pond Trail has been washed out by the Harkness Lake Outlet approximately half a mile from the parking lot. Hikers will be unable to cross the outlet when water levels are high.
The Bradley Pond Lean-to has a 3-foot by 6-foot hole in the roof. The lean-to can still be used as long as it’s not raining. The DEC is working on a temporary fix and will fully repair the roof at some point.
Private landowners have once again agreed to allow hiking on the Owls Head Trail during the week. Parking at the trailhead and hiking the trail are prohibited on weekends.
The Marcy Dam #4 Lean-to has been removed. A new Phelps Brook Lean-to has been installed off the Marcy Truck Trail. The lean-to was built by students from the Franklin-Essex-Clinton Counties BOCES Natural Resource Science Program. The students and volunteers from Lean2Rescue assembled the new lean-to. Follow signs from the bridge below Marcy Dam to the new lean-to.
The Cedar Point Lean-to has been repaired and relocated by Lean2Rescue volunteers. The lean-to is now located on the southeastern shore of Lake Colden, off the trail about .2 miles from the Opalescent River. Camping is prohibited at the former lean-to site.
A primitive campsite with two tent pads has been developed in the Slide Brook Area south of Dix Mountain by volunteers from the NOLS Northeast Adirondack Service Expedition. The site is west of the trail just before the crossing of slide brook.
Camping is prohibited at the former location of the Boquet Lean-to north of Dix Mountain and the open area adjacent to the trail.
Cold Brook Trail is not a designated DEC trail and is not maintained.
Blueberry Horse Trail is passable to horses and riders, however, riders should take care near drainages and several stream crossings that will be muddy. The DEC plans to improve the trailhead of this route int he future.
The bridge over Ouluska Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail has collapsed into the brook. During low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
Many of the herd paths found on Mount Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
Fixed ropes, harnesses, and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Due to age, weatherizing, and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and should never be used.
The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
Dix Mountain Area/Eastern Zone of High Peaks Wilderness
The lands of the Dix Mountain Area are now part of the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness. All regulations applicable to the Eastern Zone are now in effect, including by not limited to:
Group size: Groups should consist of no more than 15 hikers and no more than eight campers.
Bear-resistant canisters: These are required for overnight users between April 1st and November 30th. All food, toiletries, and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters.
Glass containers: Glass containers are prohibited.
Sentinel Range Wilderness
Several sections of the Pitchoff Mountain Trail, including the segment to Balanced Rocks, are severely eroded. These areas are challenging to navigate. Please use caution and turn back if it’s too difficult for your party to safely cross.
Beaver activity has flooded some parts of the Jack Rabbit Trail.